Portrait painting of my daughter Juanita

Portrait painting of baby done with oil colors from Gamblin.
Portrait painting of Juanita with oil colors

This portrait painting of my daughter Juanita is really one of my older ones I did when I first tried to learn how to paint.

It’s not done in my traditional way of painting. It was done in a more intuitive way with molding fat layers of paint on the canvas. It’s a technique that I find hard to master now a days. But when I succeed like with the portrait of my daughter above it’s really satisfying.

Those fat layers of impasto paint really makes the portrait stand out and become alive.

This post will not be as long and thorough as the previous ones, as this portrait was done in another way.

Color mixing

I used a very simple palette for this portrait consisting of Burnt Umber, Cadmium Red, Yellow Ochre, Titanium White and Viridian

With this very simple palette I was able to mix the colors I needed. I used plenty of paint and was not stingy with the amount on my brushes


The drawing was a very simple sketch that I did’nt use much time on. One could see that it was my daughter but it was first after the layers of color that you could really see that is indeed was my daughter. Which leaves me to say, that a sketch does not need to be so thorough. It needs to explain the most important flag points.


The shadows made with Burnt Umber and Cadmium red. The darkest areas on this portrait consists also only with those 2 colors. I used no black color on this portrait.

Middle Tones

Midle tones mixed with skin color and a little Viridian or Burnt Umber. Just a very small corn of paint changes the original pool of paint. Soft shadows in the eye sockets and in the forehead along the hair line made with Viridian.

Skin Tone

Skin tone made with Titanium White, Yellow Ochre and Cadmium Red. This mix took me a long time to get right and as I remember I did it all over at least once. Today I have a way more easy way to mix a nice skin tone, compared to what I knew back then. There is no easy way to explain other than I altered the mix back and forth until I was satisfied. One thing is sure though, be careful with the Cadmium Red, as it is extremely powerful


I used a primed tree board which I put a thick layer of Gesso on.

I used Bristle Brushes from Rosemary and Gamlin Colors for this one.

What could I have done better

Theres no doubt that I would have done things in other ways had I been painting this one today. But it still stands out as one of my beds paintings to date. It’s very dificult for me to achieve the technique and the level of painting this way when I try it today. One thing I knew was that I used thick layers of paint and formed it and molded it over 2-3 days as it dried.

A very limited palette was used for this portrait painting of my daughter Juanita. I could have achieved better colors had I used the palette that I use today. I think my middle tones are to cold due to the use of Burnt Umber and Viridian only.

When that said I am so very satisfied with the impasto look this painting has. Stained with fat colors which I like. I didn’t even dilute the shadows with Gamsol. I just smeared them one. It was so simple and yet I can’t copy it this day.

Links to previous content

For more information about how I build up my portrait step by step follow this link https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-painting-step-by-step/

Fore more information about how I mix my colors follow this link https://portraitpaintingblog.com/color-palette-portrait-painting/

To compare with the pencil sketch that was the foundation for this portrait follow this link: https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-pencil-sketch-of-argentinian-guy/

To see a previous oil portrait painting for comparison follow his link: https://portraitpaintingblog.com/portrait-painting-oil-sofia/

Links to the materials and brands I use

Paint from Winsor & Newton artist color: http://www.winsornewton.com/row/

Bristle brushes from Rosemary and Co: https://www.rosemaryandco.com/

Ampersand boards from: https://www.ampersandart.com/

Nylon brushes from Trekell: https://www.trekell.com/

My Easel is from Edge Pro Gear: https://www.edgeprogear.com/